U.S. gov't claims success of controversial Secure Communities program

16:31, September 03, 2010      

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The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thursday described its Secure Communities program a success with the removal of more than 37,900 criminal aliens from the country since 2008. But immigration advocates said otherwise.

The agency said since the program was activated in Los Angeles County a year ago, its biometric information sharing capability component has resulted in the identification and removal of more than 5,500 convicted criminal aliens from the United States.

The county is one of 28 jurisdictions in California that are currently benefiting from Secure Communities, and the information sharing capability has helped authorities to remove more than 12,400 criminal aliens arrested throughout the state, according to the ICE.

Nationwide, ICE is using the capability in 574 jurisdictions across 30 states, and it has helped ICE remove more than 37,900 criminal aliens from the country.

"Last year, ICE prevented thousands of convicted criminal aliens in Los Angeles County from being released back into the community," said David Venturella, assistant director for Secure Communities.

"Through the Secure Communities strategy, we're increasing community safety by enforcing federal immigration law in a smart, effective way that targets the greatest threats for removal first."

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